2020 & Beyond

~ March 20, 2021 ~

It always hurts a bit to come back to this blog of mine and see that so much time has lapsed. But then I have to remember that I began to write a lot more in my physical journal, had another blog, was still taking photos and even made the decision to write a book. So I can blame and also thank 2020 for that.

I just went down a bit of a rabbit hole scrolling through my blog back to 2016 or so and it’s amazing to think of everything that’s happened in the last five years. So many great adventures and milestones, and navigating my own ups and downs through it all.

While there are many obvious reasons to hate 2020, I really liked 2020 for two main reasons:

  • I got to start working from home
  • Everyone was forced to stay home and come to terms with feeling alone

It’s selfish of me, but it’s the truth. I am an expert at being alone. But I have also become more angry and resentful of those who don’t want to hang out with me. In reality they’re just fading friendships anyway, but I have been left feeling like I have no one. Yes, I have my husband and dog, but a girl needs some girlfriends. Even before 2020, I was getting more and more frustrated with girlfriends not committing to hanging out or initiating hangouts. I felt like I was doing all the work. So when that happens, I will try and try and try – then I finally give up. Fuck it. If someone else isn’t going to put in the effort, why should I? That goes for family too.

I just get tired of feeling like I’m in it alone. But I have ALWAYS felt his way, for my entire life. Always just outside the circle. Always second best, if that. This is just the cold hard truth of the life I have perceived.

There are maybe one or two girlfriends who live far away and make the effort. But part of me thinks, if we lived closer, would we just reach the fading friendship faster because now we have to make commitments and the effort to actually make the friendship last? Is it a double-edged sword?

Now the world is moving swiftly and deeply into 2021, and places are reopening and people are getting vaccinated for Covid, which means we will start going back to normal and I will have no friends at all. I am starting to think, however, that this is not a loss but a shedding of layers. When one door closes, another opens sort of thing.

My husband and I have been ready for a change for a long time now, and we’re finally making it happen this year. And in this decision, there is a bit of fear in the unknown, but it’s time we step outside of our comfort zones and just go for it. The other door is beginning to open…

Every Time She Passed a Rose

~ Friday, May 17th, 2019 ~

Every time she passed a rose, she would stop to savor the smell.

Yellow roses, white roses, coral pink roses,
magenta roses that smelled like rose wine.

It was the magenta rose that got her,
a scent that was almost heavenly and
too good to be true.

While others waited, she inhaled.

While others waited, a rose was reviving her soul.

She would invite others, but only few came forward.
Soul sisters, daughters, mothers.

Every time she passed a rose, she would stop to savor the smell.
A scent only a rose can give,
under nature’s spell.

The Magenta Rose

(Poem by yours truly – inspired by my Mom’s recent visit)

A Poppy for your Thoughts

A top-notch blossom,
in a field of awesome.

Striking plains of tangerine
draw me near
with no fear
of a crowded scene.

Paint strokes at a distance.
Come closer to the waves
and find floral seas
the power of a super bloom.

I’m So Busy

~ Sunday, January 27, 2019 ~

I’ve had a busy month.  The good kind of busy – working on my own self-care, making plans with friends, reading books, doing photo shoots.  But the word “busy” has become a word that I loathe.  If you Google “The Glorification of Busy” you will find countless articles, so I’m glad that at least I’m not alone in this.  It came to a point where I’d have to fight the rolling of my eyes when I heard it from someone else.  Even my own employee was telling me he was just “busy” when I asked him how things were going, even though what I was really asking him how he was doing.  And yet – he could never give details on what made him soooo busy.  In reality it was just a front.  A badge with no merit.

I feel the use of the word has slowed, and I don’t hear it quite as often.  The main place I hear the word tends to be in the workplace and sometimes makes me feel guilty if I’m not busy when someone else is.  I also know that my job can get busy, then it can get slow.  That’s just reality.  But to use the word as an over-arching reason to make excuses for not getting together with friends or cancelling plans or just to continue your self-glorifying rant about why you’re not available – I don’t want to be friends with you.

When you make time for people, they feel like you care, and will most likely do the same for you.  When you push and reschedule plans, don’t respond or make lame excuses, they will do the same to you.  Everything in life seems to be a give and take, even in the closest of relationships.  But getting to a point where you or someone else wants to give your time willingly without being asked, is gold.  It’s those moments where someone who might be dealing with depression feel like life matters, because someone cared enough to reach out with a hello, how are you? or try to plan something or bring them a little gift even if it’s been a while since they’ve done something for you.  It’s important to give yourself care, but when you feel in the right state of mind, give that care to others.  Replace “busy” with being “kind”.  It’s a different kind of busy.  Busy is just too broad and unspecific, it’s just a filler.

So, how is life?  I hope you’re finding time to do nothing.

rahlight3 bw fade
Me, doing nothing.  Photo by my lovely cousin ❤

Embracing the Celestial Body

~ Wednesday, January 23, 2018 ~

This month has been full of female empowerment for me. From the continuous connection with my cousin who moved to LA last year, reading a book called “Cunt”, seeing many of my girlfriends over a short period of time, watching a full Blood Wolf moon rise and participating in the Women’s March in LA, I feel that while it might just be coincidence – I feel I had a part in manifesting my female connections.

“The moon has consistently proven herself to be every woman’s ally since the beginning of time. The moon renders fearful illusions of social conditioning petty riffraff that gets in the way of a cuntlovin’ lady’s life. The moon fucken rules.”
(Excerpt from the book “Cunt” by Inga Muscio)

This book ignited a spark in me and I’m determined to finish it this month. This book told me to get a lunar calendar, so I did. This book told me to pay attention to the moon, so I will. The moon is quite powerful and it affects the oceans and us women and our ovulation. This in itself is quite the revelation when you put it all together. To think of the all the things that suppress a woman’s power between her legs is simply maddening. And I succumbed to that suppression for most of my life. I was fooled. I will be giving this book to my own daughter to read when the time comes. Fuck it – if I have a son, he will get it too.

For the last few months, I have felt isolated and alone. This month, I feel nourished with friendships and the power of vulnerability. I opened up to my female friends about going to therapy and my horoscope findings – understanding my moon and rising signs, not just the sun sign. It dives deeper into who we are and clears up the questions that remained for me when it was left at the sun sign. I plan to learn more about myself and others as the year goes on. And in Numerology, I’m in my eighth year. Turning tides… so much to learn.

Another feeling of empowerment for me, was to make a stand with my photography. I’m stepping back from taking paid jobs – for parties, specifically. The general anxiety I get is too much to bear, and I feel like herded cattle – being told where to go and what to do. I don’t like it, so I’m not going to do it. I’m lucky I have this choice, but it was the best choice for me, until I figure out what I’m going to do next.

So here’s to becoming friends with the moon, the celestial body – and to me and manifesting my destiny through it and with it.

Photo by Moi (I missed the Blood part – had to sleep!)

P.S. As I wrote this post, I kept hearing songs about the moon….

Finding Satisfaction

As I sit here on a Wednesday evening, eating a Babybel, drinking chardonnay and listening to the Stones on 95.5 KLOS (I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)) on a rainy afternoon in Orange County, I realize I’m settling into January 2019 quite nicely. Currently reaping in the satisfaction, I must admit. This is a far cry from the desolate, lonely winter I seeped into in the last few months.

But I don’t want to go there, because it’s where I always eventually end up, so I’ll just embrace the #sparkjoy I’m feeling right now and go with it. Perhaps it’s the rain that has been consistently falling since the weekend (that’s over four days now), or perhaps it’s because we’ve cooked dinner three days in a row (thanks to Blue Apron), or perhaps – it’s because I’m finally getting better after being sick since New Years (thanks, Christmas shenanigans). I could throw little perhapples all over the place, which I suppose is like counting blessings, so whatever you want to call it – I’ve found myself in a good place. THE good place. Which can be deceiving, but nonetheless I’LL TAKE IT.

It’s a new year, and I feel like this rain is just another chance to really wash all the crap away to reveal a new world, a new me. It’s so refreshing to feel the sprinkles on my face and remember the essence of dampness – a common state when you’re from the Pacific Northwest, like me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get tired of this soon and will summon the sun, but for now – it’s pretty much heaven.

Things I’ve done to help kick off the year to a good start:
-I started a Bullet Journal
-I started going to Therapy
-Eddie and I watched “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix
-I’ve spent time with dear friends and sweet souls who embrace me and my art as they are, and I’ve opened up to them in ways I never have before
-I’ve made a decision about my photography and am backing off from jobs that are “just for pay” and focusing on exactly what I want to do with my photography
-I’ve been more mindful of my relationship with Eddie and also opened up parts of myself that I’ve neglected to tell him since we’ve been together
-I bought new workout pants that inspire me to WERK it
-I’m taking more photos of myself to challenge my photography and myself (to face myself for who I am, even if I don’t currently like how I look)
-I’m approaching my everyday job with a more positive mindset and trying to avoid those who bring me down
-I mapped out a plan for blogging to hopefully avoid the spew of a shame spiral and focus on more positive subjects, including pre-planned topics
-I plan to write more Thank You notes this year

So on that note, and with my belly full of a Pappardelle dinner and an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, I head to bed to finish this Wednesday with a feeling of accomplishment and positiveness and in the back of my mind – just hoping this feeling will last for a bit.

The Manors

~ Saturday, August 4, 2018 ~

I live in a place called Meredith Manors.  It’s been around since the 1960’s.  It has these large, grand doors with ornate handles.  The knob is a daisy and the side windows remind me of church.  It’s a delicious little piece of paradise in a busy, little city in Orange County.


These doors will be going away soon, and the manor will be modernized.  This makes me a little sad to know, but also excited for the future.  The manors needed a face lift, although I will truly miss the doorknobs.  The new doors will give me a new photography background, a new perspective.  I’ll always have the memories of many photo shoots in front of these doors and imagining that I’m a different place.

RP6 bw

This dress fit in perfectly and I’m pleasantly surprised how well the dress fit me.  Now that I’m married and the wedding craziness is over, I was itching to get back to photography.  One of the hardest things for me is wanting to photograph people, but there’s never anyone around to photograph.  Meaning, there’s not someone around every few days to fulfill my photography wants and desires.  So I’ve decided to really pursue my self confidence and struggle with having my entire body photographed and embrace it.  Find something to like.  I know the camera, I know my good angles, I just have to work a little bit harder to get the shot.


I’ve had some really successful self-portrait sessions and I’m proud of myself!  I’ve actually got some looks on file, although I’ll want to post them every day, now that I’ve also just given my blog another kick-start.

Fashion blogger?  Not sure about that yet.  Self confidence includes finding clothes that make you feel good, and hopefully that translates through the camera.  I’m very aware of my flaws, and you probably won’t catch me in a dress anytime soon in public, so this is the best I can do.  If I can post it, then I feel confident in it.  I’ll continue to work on the parts I’m not so confident about and maybe someday I’ll be able to sport certain styles like a crop top and high waisted pants (a dream, really), but for now I just have to do what works.

Meet Rahlala – just a girl who’s always liked fashion but was always afraid to show it.  Fuck, I like pink a lot after all.  🙂

White Space

Monday, January 15, 2018

I had been looking forward to today.

A day free of people.
A day free of timelines.
A day to sleep in.
A day to take a walk.
A day to grocery shop.
A day to get coffee.
A day to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight.

A day to write.

A day to create.

A day with a clear mind.

See that –> white space ————————>

It’s Monday, so the gardeners are here.  Fresh cut grass fills the air, and, while the mowers are blaring I have KJazz on, and I am here.  In my own space.  My own white space.  I get this maybe once a week, if I don’t screw it up the night before.

Today is also an important holiday.  So many things have been happening in our country that make the holiday this year that more impactful.  Every year I find myself in solitude on this day.  The present political situation has us thinking more about civil rights than ever, and not just on this day.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was a voice for so many people and continues to be today.

I didn’t mean to title this post with “White Space” to be an ironic metaphor in some way to the present holiday.  It’s actually an interesting coincidence, as I literally meant it to be about white space creatively (you’ll know if you read the link).  But today is not just about one color.  It’s about equality of all humans, regardless of race or gender.  So that white space is actually meant to be in color – it’s meant to be not be white.  White clothes, white bedsheets, white clothes, even white skin – does not stay white forever.  And America was never white to begin with.

Anywho.  I hope you’re enjoying your Monday, whether you have it off or not.  Just take a moment to remember this guy and be proud of how far we’ve come (yet still have far to go).

I’ll leave you with some of my own personal white space (we don’t have much, and thank goodness I dusted recently!).


~ rahlala ~

2017 Photo Recap

Tuesday – January 2, 2018

As we glide into the new year of 2018, my mind wanders two years into the future when we eliminate “two thousand” from our current year and just say the year is “twenty twenty”.  Mind blown.

Meanwhile, here in 2018, I’m taking a look back at 2017.  As I put the photos together of the year, it definitely puts it into perspective.  I was photographer for multiple babies and almost exclusively for a friend and up and coming eco fashion designer.  I still continue to spend most of my free time with my fiance and my dog, but rarely get photos of the three of us together (or even just the two of us humans together).  In fact, unless it’s for a shoot, I’m often forgetting to take photos of the people in my life and this is frustrating almost directly because of social media.  I probably shouldn’t feel this way, but when I look back, most of the photos I take are of things and of my dog.  And selfies.  I used photography initially as a way to document where my mind wanders (color, light, shapes, cute things, nature, a way to make me feel good about myself) and gave me an out to be the dazed artist and not totally sociable.  I still manage to be sociable and no one would know the difference, but often I feel lonely and lately – losing my creativity and whatever spark I used to have to bad self esteem and feeling out of place.

This is probably not where I should be a few months before I get married, but I am there.  I have been there for a long time.  I wouldn’t say the last year has been difficult really, like everyone out there keeps saying (“2017 was tough, leave that shit behind, blah blah blah”).  It wasn’t bad and it was that great either, but only because of my own personal setbacks.  I look forward to the new year just like everyone else, but I’m trying to be smarter about my approach to making healthier changes and just continue the baby steps to get there.

So on the second day of the year, I’m just going to take it one day at a time.  With Minimal Enjoyable Actions (MEA – thanks to my Shine texts I now get daily).  No goals, just forming tiny behaviors that will eventually contribute to an overall life habit.

Check out my last year below!

(January 2017)

2017 jan1

So many baby’s first birthday parties and photo shoots in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, shooting with Ellerali and her amazing eco fashion line, and a quick trip to Atascadero to visit friends for football and fun (and they have the most amazing house and location/views).

(February 2017)

2017 jan2

2017 feb

February gets two columns because a lot happened.  More shoots with Ellerali, my birthday (not pictured, and I can’t even remember what we did), a work colleague passed away and I organized his memorial in Burbank, we said good-bye to a faithful old ottoman that came from mine and Stacy’s old apartment couch set (bought from an old work friend and was Buffy’s bed), did an adorable shoot with a brother and sister and a red tutu (I die) and I organized another work event for the Oscar’s night.  Phew!

March 2017

2017 March

More… babies…  All adorable, but wowza.  An engagement party for a dear college friend (which I photographed), a trip to the Poppy fields when they were in full bloom, and got a rare dino shot (who have been unfortunately neglected by me last year).

April 2017

2017 april1

2017 april2

April also gets more photos because of all that went on.  My mom came out to visit and we drove up to the Central Coast to look at wedding dresses (failed at one place, found the first attempt at a wedding dress which wasn’t really a wedding a dress), visited Montana de Oro – a gorgeous beach with fields and mountains and fog, etc, also visiting Morro Bay because I love it there, then back home to take more baby photos and party photos and selfies.  Bam.

May 2017

2017 May

Spring brought the Jacarandas (purple trees) and wind – which cancelled our balloon ride, but I hung out with Elle of Ellerali for more photos and adventures.

June 2017

2017 june

More babies!  And battleships.  Eddie’s sister, Stacy (hugging the canon above), got married in October (more to come), and we got out and about to Huntington Beach and back to the good old Hiltscher Trail in Fullerton.

July 2017

2017 july

More Ellerali and good food from a cool new mexican joint (that up and moved away already) and by Eddie – a delicious Italian pasta for the 4th of July (hehe), and – I took our own engagement photos for our Save the Dates!

August 2017

2017 Aug

I head up to San Francisco to go to Stacy’s Bridal Shower (anchor themed!) and Bachelorette Party in the city, took more photos for Ellerali, then flew to Dallas, Texas to visit my mom and stepdad for a few days – leaving with a book from my mom – “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.”  LOVE.  Kept taking photos of quotes and there were SO many.  Also not pictured – I organized a Film Fest contest for my work which was pretty awesome.

September 2017

2017 Sept.jpg

I organized a Bring Your Kid to Work Day + Picnic for work this month (yeah, work has been super busy this whole time and things keep changing and so it might explain why I feel like I started to lose my creativity – I was putting it somewhere else).  Meanwhile – more babies, but this time in bellies – twins!  Too cute of a shoot with red converse.  Also Eddie made this ridiculous breakfast sandwich one day with a baguette from Lee’s sandwich, maple sausages and over easy eggs and holy shit – now this is an egg slut sandwich.  And me – the other egg slut.  HA.  (I love eggs.)

October 2017

2017 Oct

Another double dose of photos for October because this month was a big one.. and I didn’t even include my Halloween costume!  (I was Janis Joplin.)  The big news here is that Eddie’s sister, Stacy, got married to her beau of 7 years – Mike (an old friend of mine – you could say I technically introduced them!).  They wed on the USS Iowa in San Pedro and it was fucking awesome.  Eddie and I were in the wedding party and had a blast.  They both have amazing families who we got to know well, and what was more fun is that the party continued 26 miles out at sea in Catalina Island.  Almost 30 people went to continue the celebrations for 2-3 days with the bride and groom and it was so fun!  Bike riding, BBQing, day drinking, relaxing and all on a place that felt like a small tropical island.  When we finally got home I continued a good photo run in a small moment of creative spark.

November 2017

2017 nov

In good timing (not being sarcastic), I got sick in November but worked my way through it in time to be healthy again for our roadtrip to the Bay Area for Thanksgiving at Eddie’s aunt’s house in Fremont.  It was like the wedding all over again and great to see the family so often.  We got randomly upgraded to a Mustang and it was the shit.  Thanksgiving was amazing (Eddie’s family knows food, man) and no- that was not our real turkey!

December 2017

2017 dec
2017 dec2

Another twofer!  And December gets extra special because after a few months of not really using my real camera, I did pull it out for Christmas.  In December we took off for Dallas, Texas (after this year I feel somewhat like a jet-setter!) so Eddie could see what it was like and we’d get to celebrate his birthday and our 8th dating anniversary (and see my parents of course!).  We stayed in Deep Ellum for a couple nights in an Air BnB loft and explored bars and breweries and food, then went back to Lake Dallas where my parents live to recover and spend our final days there.  We had amazing food, amazing BBQ at the Pecan Lodge and Braindead Brewery.  Back in Orange County it was finally getting cold so we could put on our holiday sweaters and put up the tree.  For Christmas Eve and Day we spent it in Echo Park with Eddie’s sister, her husband and their parents visiting from the Bay.  Another amazing meal was had and Christmas Day was gorgeous.

I made it a point to get photos of everyone:

LA Christmas Fam1 resize

And the three of us  🙂

EdSarah1 bw resize

Cheers to 2018!

Yay Should Never End with a Period

Riding the train backwards this morning. Listening to Air. Spotted this colorful palm on the side of the tracks with the rising sun beaming through it, and really – look at it. Spectacular tones. Fall affects palm trees, too.

Another day. My last day of having to go into work, so yay for my Friday. Yay. You know someone is being sarcastic when they type “Yay.”. Yay should never end with a period, at least when it comes to truly being excited about something. Or something you should be excited about but aren’t. Which is where I’m sitting. Not excited, but should be. I’m looking forward to not having to work for four days, but I’ll be by myself for two of those days. Then spending the next two days with my fiancé’s family, whom I love dearly, but as per usual – I don’t always feel like I fit in. We’ve all witnessed each other’s breakdowns. FIL’s anxiety, BIL’s weak stomach for all the heavy beer and rich food he consumes, my fiancé and SIL who can drink me under the table, and me. Also with anxiety and stomach issues and tends to just fall asleep when drunk.

The train is rocking back and forth now, passengers swaying back and forth. This happens on slight curves as we go a little faster. “LA Union Station is our next stop,”

says the automated announcer. There’s a point just pass the city of Vernon where the train goes over a bridge that passes over the LA river. The train is so high up you feel like you could tip over.

That’s what happened in Washington recently. The DuPont crash over the I-5. Amtrak was going to fast around a curve and derailed the whole train. Crazy.

Anywho, I’m going to try and enjoy it. I have plans to make Christmosas and mint chocolate chip cookies, along with take a bunch of fun photos with my big camera (that I’ve barely touched in months). I’m also hopeful that I can work out Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So those are the goals, let’s see how I do. I’ll keep you posted.